Understanding Hayfever

Spring evokes the idea of sunshine, fresh blooms and warmth however if you suffer from Hayfever or Asthma it can be more than uncomfortable.
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is a reaction caused by triggers breathed in through the nose causing swelling and inflammation. Despite its common name, allergic rhinitis is not caused by hay and does not result in fever. It is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, mould and animal hair. The effects of hayfever varies varies significantly from person to person, and even from year to year. Some find symptoms are mild and easily ignored, others intrusive.

The main symptoms of hayfever are:
– blocked nose
– watery, runny nose
– sneezing
– itchy nose
– watery eyes
– snoring

However some less obvious symptoms can include poor or interrupted sleep, poor concentration with work and school work for kids, and headaches. In most cases, the impact can be reduced by receiving effective treatment.

Hayfever doesn’t always occur in isolation. Sufferers frequently have asthma and eczema as co-existing medical concerns.

Asthma – a chronic inflammation and obstruction of the the airways which impacts 1 in 9 Australians – and hayfever are closely linked, and approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever. Research shows that treating hay fever can reduce asthma related hospitalisations.
Because of the close link between asthma and allergies, it can be more difficult to manage your asthma if your allergies are also not managed.

If you do notice that you are severely impacted by the hayfever season it is be time to make an appointment with your GP who will be able to advise how to reduce or avoid exposure to your allergies, prescribe appropriate medicine and determine if therapy is suitable.